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🔎 Played for Both: Bradford City

4 February 2021

Exeter City look to build on mid-week’s victory against Stevenage, as they return to St James Park for the visit of Bradford City in a 1pm kick-off.

Jed Penberthy looks at a selection of the plethora of personnel who have Played for Both.

James Clark

  • Born: May 1, 1923
  • Position: Full Back

James Clarke, or Jim to his friends, joined City in the Summer of 1948 from Aberdeen. He’d previously served in the Royal Air Force during the war before joining the Dons. Amidst interest from Hearts and Dundee, Clark instead chose the Red and White of Devon and made the 577-mile trip South.

James Clarke.jpg

He was quickly established as a first team player, making his first appearance against Aldershot in September.

In four years at St James Park, Clark made 95 full-back appearances scoring five goals, despite hot competition from fellow left-back Stan Rowe. In 1952, Clark switched allegiances to the Bantams but could only muster eight appearances in his time at Valley Parade.

Lee Sharpe

  • Born May, 27 1971
  • Position: Winger

One of the most successful academy products Torquay United have ever produced, Sharpe moved to Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in June 1988.
Sharpe made his league debut for United in September that year against West Ham and went on to win three Premier Leagues, two FA Cups, a League Cup and a Cup Winners Cup in his time at Old Trafford, before his move to Leeds in 1996. This came as Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and a certain David Beckham all started to break through at the Cliff Training Centre.

Lee Sharpe.jpg

After his club record £4.5m move to Leeds, his time was plague with injuries and in 1998 he was loaned to Serie A side Sampdoria. In ‘99 he moved on loan, and then permanently to Bradford City, helping secure the club’s promotion to the Top Division for the first time in 77 years. He played 56 times for Bradford scoring four times.

After several loans to Pompey and Grimsby, Sharpe (now 31) became a marquee arrival at St James Park in the summer of 2002. He made his debut for the Grecians in a 1-1 home draw with Scunthorpe and scored the week later against Hull.

This proved to be his only goal for Exeter and his last in English football.
After a brief spell in Iceland, Lee Sharpe concentrated on a career off the pitch, By the mid-2000’s he became a reality star, appearing on Celebrity Wrestling; Celebrity Love Island; and Dancing on Ice. In a late career change, Lee has recently turned his eye to his other passion of Golf, becoming Pro in 2020. He is hoping in the years to come he will make it onto the European Senior Tour.

Don Goodman

  • Born: May 9, 1966
  • Position: Striker

Joining Sharpy in August 2002 as publicity surrounding Exeter grew, Don Goodman also joined the Grecians late in his expansive career. Goodman began his career at Valley Parade in 1984 and was part of the Division Three winning side the same season. Aged just 17, Goodman scored a hat-trick for the Bantams against Luton Town in the FA Cup.

Don Goodman.jpg

After 70 games and 14 goals for Bradford, Goodman made the move to West Brom for £50,000 and scored sixty goals in the next four years. A three-year stint at Roker Park followed with Sunderland. After spells at Wolves, Sanfreece Hiroshima (Japan), Motherwell and Walsall, Goodman eventually found his way to EX4.

Shrewsbury Town were the opposition for the Strikers debut as the struggling City side were relegated from the Football League, with just a single goal to his name. He ended the 02/03 season back in Yorkshire with Doncaster Rovers, later leaving on a free.

Now Don occasionally features as a Sky Sports pundit.

Joseph Cooke

  • Born: February 5, 1955
  • Position: Defender

Born in Dominica before moving to England, Cooke began his career at Valley Parade signing a full contract in 1972. He made 204 appearances for Bradford City in an eight-year tenure. In that time, he netted 62 goals as a striker before converting, for some reason given his record, into a centre-half.

Joseph Cooke.jpg

In 1979 Cooke moved to Peterborough in a £45,000 part-exchange deal with another Ex-Grecian Lammie Robertson. after the short spell in Cambridgeshire, a 13-goal haul at Oxford followed before signing for Exeter in June 1981. Bagging three strikes in 17 games Cooke jumped at the chance of rejoining the Bantams the following January, where he re-discovered some first team form. Despite half his career being played at Centre-half, Cooke ended his career with a 1-in-5 goal to game ratio, come his retirement in 1988.

Nicky Law

  • Born: March 29, 1988
  • Position: Centre-midfielder

A modern legend to grace the St James Park turf, Nicky Law made firmly integrated himself as a fan-favourite in his time at Exeter.

After a youth career at Sheffield United, Law was unable to break into Neil Warnock’s first team. Law had loan spells at Yeovil and Bradford City (for his first stint at Valley Parade). He scored his first professional goals for the Bantam’s after being recommended to Stuart McCall by his Dad, Nicky Law (Senior).

Law Grimsby.JPG

In 2009 he made the permanent switch to Rotherham United, rather than Bradford. In 2011 interest was high for Nicky and he moved north of the Border to Motherwell. In 2013, Law played his first European match in the Champions League Qualifying Rounds against Panathinaikos. At the end of that season, Law attracted the eyes of recently demoted Rangers. Law scored twice on his ‘Gers debut in the Challenge Cup and in 122 games for the Scottish Giants, scored 26 goals.

Law.jpg

Nicky re-joined Bradford in 2016 for two years, playing 78 games in Red and Amber before his release which pathed the way for his move to Devon.
In his two-and-a-half years at Exeter, Nicky was instrumental in Matt Taylor’s masterplan. Law quickly announced himself to the SJP crowd with a debut goal against Carlisle. Law scored pivotal goals and numerous assists for the Grecians before now embarking on an exciting move to America with Indy Eleven at the start of this month.

Everyone at City wishes Nicky all the best for his future, and you can see all of his goals for Exeter below:

Including our current first team manager Matt Taylor and centre-back Rory McArdle, there is a host of other Bantams-turned-Grecians and we’d be here all day listing them, but you can find them here at the amazing Grecian Archive website!

What are your memories of these players and what are your favourite moments?

Let us know via our social media links! For now, attention turns to the current squads on Saturdays mouth-watering tie between the two clubs.


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